Direct Diode Lasers (DDL) are a relatively new technology that Mazak Optonics is betting will be the next generation in faster cutting, higher efficiency solid state laser technology.Click image to enlargeby Nestor Gula

Although laser cutting systems have been around for a while, they are still constantly evolving. Introduced a few years ago, the Direct Diode Lasers (DDL) feature prominently in some new machines. “Direct Diode Laser (DDL) is not a fiber laser,” says Al Bohlen, president of Mazak Optonics North America. “It is indeed a solid state laser, however the design is very different from fiber, how the beam is generated, and the wavelength (0.94μ-0.97μ) itself differs from that of fiber, disk or CO2 laser. DDL is absolutely without question the next generation of solid state laser technology.”

The DDL beam characteristics allow for control of mode shape that was not possible on fiber or disk systems and combined with a shorter wavelength, the cutting parameters yield impressive speeds and a greater edge quality over existing laser systems, according to suppliers, explains Bohlen. “DDL provides a new wavelength and beam (mode) control not possible on CO2, fiber or disk and allows for greater levels of cut performance. Most notably, our customers are very impressed with edge quality in comparison to fiber or disk and this is in addition to cut speed gains.”

A direct diode laser uses the light directly from a diode, unlike a disc or a fiber system where you have a laser medium. “You have a crystal, either a YAG crystal like a glass or quartz silica, doped with a rare element like a terbium, and the stimulation of those atoms, the terbium atom, is actually what produces the light,” says Brett Thompson, TruLaser product manager at TRUMPF. “Then you have light coming from the diodes, that goes into the crystal and bombards the terbium atoms with energy. They split and create the photon of light that ultimately we are going to use to cut with. So, your actual mission of light is going to be different. With direct diode technology, you’re removing that intermediate, the solid state component, the crystal, and you’re using the drill for light directly from the diode source.”

The advantages of this technology are that there are fewer and less expensive components, and systems are more energy efficient, so operating costs will be lower.

There is debate about whether this is a revolutionary or evolutionary technology. “It’s kind of somewhere in between,” says Thompson. “The difficulty is having really high output in a single mode solid direct diode lasers and that’s typically what we see in a scalable laser system like a disc – that’s probably going to be the choice for high power applications. But for those mid-power ranges and then as the technology advances, it certainly makes sense because with the diode technology you have not only low investment costs and lower operating costs because of the efficiency, but you do have also the ability, theoretically, to kind of pick and choose what output of light you want to use, which is really phenomenal when you consider welding copper; I want green light because of the coupling, the interaction with the beam is much better so I need less laser power to weld that sort of material as opposed to one light micron laser.” SMT

Walter Surface Technologies celebrates $30 million Montreal facility

Walter Surface Technologies commemorated the completion of its $30 million, 92,00 sq ft facility in Point-Claire, QC.

Canadian manufacturing growth in October highest in 2.5 years

The Canadian manufacturing continues to grow, hitting the highest level in 2.5 years in October, according to the RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI). The PMI is a monthy survey that serves as a gauge of manufacturing business conditions. 

After adjusting for seasonal variation, the RBC PMI - a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of the health of the manufacturing sector - rose to its highest level in 30 months during October. At 55.6, up from 54.2 in September and above the series average of 53.3, the RBC PMI indicated a strong improvement in Canadian manufacturing operation conditions.

Manufacturing hits record-high growth: Survey

The manufacturing sector hit record-high levels in June, according to the latest data from the IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), registering 57.1, up from 56.2 in May and the highest reading in  more than seven and a half years of data collection.

Harnessing opportunity

The energy and resource sectors are crucial economic contributors to Canada

Canada's energy and resource sectors attract manufacturers from around the world, and for good reason.

Cy-Laser opens tech centre for Canada, US customers

Cy-Laser America, a subsidiary of Cy-Laser S.r.L. of Schio, Italy, has opened a Technology Center in Sterling Heights, MI, to service customers in North America.

Watch your language

by Mary Scianna

People working in English dominant countries like Canada and the US take language for granted.

Automating your press brake

Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine speaks with Shane Simpson, TruBend product manager, North America, TRUMPF, Farmington, CT, about developments in press brake automation.

6 Tips on Extending Life of Consumables

by Phil Parker

Longer consumable life can result in significant cost savings

Samuel acquires 100% of additive business Burloak Technologies

Samuel Son & Co., Ltd., a Burlington, Ont.-based metals distributor and industrial products manufacturer, has acquired all remaining shares of Burloak Technologies, an engineering and design contract manufacturer for additive manufacturing (AM), materials development, high precision CNC machining, post-processing and metrology.

Robotic bending in action

The HG 1303 Rm from Amada America was engineered to provide consistent, high quality bending operations while eliminating time intensive, manual handling of medium to long sized parts.

Hot holes

by Kip Hanson

Friction drilling makes holes quickly and accurately in tube, plate, and sheet

London opens doors to Brose

by Tim Wilson

City supports company's $170 M investments

TRUMPF grows with Chicago expansion

TRUMPF plans to expand its operations with a new 50,000 sq ft facility in Chicago, IL, that will house a Technology Centre and a Centre for Excellence for Industry 4.0. The facility will be completed by mid-2017.

Better hole drilling for shipbuilding

Nestled in the far southwest corner of Bayou La Batre, Alabama sits one of the top ship and boat building companies.

Manufacturing niche

by Mary Scianna

Focus on tight tolerance, complex work sets BC machine shop apart

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn